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The dos and don’ts of applying to college

As the deadlines for college applications approaches, you can hear the sigh of relief coming from every high school senior across the country. College applications are quite possibly the hardest aspect of senior year, but here at “The Falconer’s Voice”, we want to make this process as easy as possible.


  1. Begin thinking about the college you want to go to, even if you are undecided about your major.

  2. Visit many colleges, even the ones you are unsure about. You never know what you will learn on campus about a college.

“My dream school used to be Boston University, but when I visited, I was not pleased with the courses I sat through or the campus itself. In fact, my back up college turned out to be the only school I really loved when I visited,” says senior Annie Chipchase.

  1. Start to narrow down the field you may want to study in. For example, if you still think Shakespeare writes in a different language, you may not want to go into an English field.

  2. READ AND SAVE ALL THE COLLEGE LETTERS YOU GET IN THE MAIL! Colleges send fee waivers and important information in the mail, and it is helpful to save them for when college application time comes.

  3. Take advantage of fee waivers. Fee waivers are usually sent to you in the mail and are given to students that colleges really want to apply. Instead of paying to apply to a school, like you normally would, you can send it in for free with the waiver.

  4. Talk to your guidance counselor as early as possible. Your guidance counselor can tell you everything you need to know about college and answer any question you have. Believe me, there is a LOT more to college than you think.

  5. When writing your essay, consider having one or two of your current or past English teachers look it over first. If you don’t already do it in class, it is smart to have a teacher’s perspective on your paper. After all, the essay is a vital part of the application process.

  6. Remember that going to community college does NOT make you any less intelligent than you are. Going to community college can actually be the smartest move in some cases because it saves you thousands, and if you transfer after two years there, it is easier to get into your dream school.

“Community college has such a bad reputation nowadays. It’s important to remember it doesn’t matter where you start, it matters where you end,” says junior Kyle Pahira.

  1. Take advantage of all scholarship opportunities because there is literally a scholarship for everything.


  1. Mock other people’s college choices. It is important to remember that not everyone has the same level of intelligence as you and that people go to different colleges for different reasons. It is not your place to drag down someone’s dream  school because you heard their courses are not as great as your top schools.

  2. DO NOT, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PROCRASTINATE WHEN IT COMES TO APPLYING TO COLLEGE! Waiting until the last minute may work for you when you are turning in an essay for English class, but this process determines your whole future. It is definitely not something that can be pushed off and rushed the night before deadlines.

  3. Wait until senior year to start addressing all things college. Yes, you have to wait until senior year to send in applications, but you should take advantage of visiting campuses and learning about potential colleges early so you have a better idea of where you’d like to go in the future.

  4. Stress out. Although college can be extremely stressful, you have to think of ways to keep yourself from freaking out about all of it. Being prepared can make it the least stressful, like doing a little at a time.

College is a huge step in a teenager’s life, and it’s important to know what to do when it comes to the complicated applications. Enjoying senior year can be hard if you are not prepared for college, so be sure to check in with your guidance counselor often and do not let the stress get to you. Keep calm and apply on!

What is your least favorite part about applying to college?

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